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This project is going to review The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. He is an Afghan American novelist and his first novel Kite Runner published in 2003. He was born in Afghanistan but moved to America in 1980. He also works for the support of the Afghan people. Kite Runner tells the story of Amir a Sunni Muslim who struggles to maintain a relationship with his father, Baba. Their servant Ali and his son Hassan belong to the Hazara ethnic minority. In this novel, Amir also depicts how the past traumatized him so he blames himself for Hassan’s murder. It sketches the political history of instability of various Afghanistan governments even from the fall of the soviet government in 1880 to the Taliban government in 1990. Racism is portrayed in this novel as Assef is the most obvious racist character. After harassing Hassan he said, “It’s just a Hazara”. Amir and Baba try their best to create a new life in America but their past isn’t buried. It covers all the issues of loyalty, identity, and courage. This novel especially points out the complexity of the father and son relationship.

The Kite Runner begins with the protagonist named Amir who tells about an event in winter that changed his whole life. His father Baba was a rich man who lived in Kabul. His mother died during his birth. Amir’s closest friend Hassan is also his servant and Hassan’s father Ali is close to Baba. Amir explains how Ali and Baba know each other. Amir and Hassan grew up together like Baba and Ali do. But they don’t consider themselves as a friend because of the class difference. Hassan and Ali are Hazaras considered a minority in Afghanistan. Amir and Ali are called kite runners. Usually, Amir flew a kite and Hassan ran kites for him. A kite tournament was held in the winter of 1975, Amir won the tournament and Hassan ran the kite for him. But when Amir reaches the home he doesn’t find Hassan. He goes out to look for him and he finds him in a street with Assef and his two friends. Amir could not help him because Assef raped him and Hassan goes back home with a kite in his hand and blood dripping from his pants. Hassan is shaken up after this incident and Amir also doesn’t talk about this but later Amir starts to feel guilty that he didn’t stand up for Hassan. Instead of telling Baba about Hassan’s rape, Amir decides to drive out Ali and Hassan. After his birthday he tells Baba that his stuff is missing and Hassan confesses that he steals his stuff. Ali and Hassan left. At the same time as the kite-flying tournament, war breaks out in Afghanistan. Things are getting worse for Amir and Baba so they move to America. There baba and Amir Work hard, Amir marries Soraya and Baba dies due to bad health. One day, an old friend of Baba Rahim Khan called the Amir. He wants Amir to come back to Afghanistan and he leaves everything in America and goes back to Afghanistan. Amir gets to know how Hassan and their wife were brutally executed by the Taliban. Hassan has a son named Sohrab who lives in an orphanage. Rahim Khan wants Amir to save Sohrab. He also got to know that Hassan was his half-brother. It is not easy to rescue Sohrab because he wasn’t in an orphanage but he lives with Assef. For the fate of Sohrab, Amir, and Assef fight Sohrab nails Assef in his right and they escape from there. Amir wants to take Sohrab to America with him. But it is difficult when Sohrab does not have the death certificate of his parents. To adopt him, he keeps Sohrab in an orphanage temporarily where he distraught and tries to commit suicide. Sohrab survived and after some time Amir took him to the park where Afghans were flying kites. Where Amir and Sohrab fly the kite and Amir runs the kite after Sohrab like Hassan did for Amir. They win and Amir tells Sohrab “A thousand times for you”. And this brings a smile to Sohrab’s face.

Literature review;

This section reviews the previous conducted on the novel Kite Runner to highlight the significance of the novel. Moreover, it illustrates the study of this novel from different research. The researchers Akram Sadat Hosseini and Esmaeil Zohdi in their article talk about the problem of racism and ethnicity. How are racism and ethnicity explained in Kite Runner? Racism and ethnicity are usually considered the same concepts. Racism is a worldwide matter that makes people inferior and superior due to nationality, ethnicity, and identity. “The difference between ethnicity and racism is that racism is based on biological classification while ethnicity reveals the cultural identity of a group of people with the same nationality.” It was started in the 16th and 19th centuries when people began to differentiate themselves. Kite Runner depicts the two major conflicts between two ethnical populations which are Hazara and Pashtuns. In Afghanistan racism started after the attack of the Soviet Union and after the rule of the Taliban which was a racist group that killed the minority people such as the Hazara. In this novel, Ali and Hassan belong to the Hazara group. Hazaras are a minor group and are treated inhumanely by Pashtun. Hazaras are only 9% of the Afghan population while Pashtuns are 46%. Another conflict is due to Sunni and Shia Muslims. As Amir said about Shias “That’s the one thing Shi’a Muslims do well, picking up his paper, passing themselves as a martyr”. Hazara are oppressed by Pashtuns for no reason they kill them beat them even sell their women they dwell in their places. They are also insulted by Pashtuns for their eyes and face look, they are considered Mongols by them. Amir and Hassan are close to each other but Amir’s father shows a different manner towards Hazaras that it doesn’t matter how close they are to each other but no one is going to change the history between Hazara and Pashtuns. Assef is the strongest racial character in this novel and doesn’t like Hazara at all. He blames Amir and Baba for helping Ali and Hassan. He calls them” a disgrace to Afghanistan”. To take revenge on Amir he raped Hassan and feels no guilty but says he is just a Hazara. He considered Hazara a garbage in Afghanistan and he wants to remove this from his country. This novel also shows that these conflicts can be solved when Amir knows about Sohrab, he sacrifices himself to save Sohrab. He fights with Assef to rescue Sohrab. At the end of the novel, he takes Sohrab with him. It can be concluded that racial discrimination is detrimental to society because it urges people to make judgments according to their standards.

How do Amir’s psychological changes occur in Kite Runner? Chen Kai Fu in his article explains the behavior of Amir throughout the novel. According to him all the behavior of Amir such as his guilt, redemption, his devotion to love just occurs due to the psychological changes in different matters. At an early age, children want love from their parents which helps them to build trust and positivity. As a kid, Amir did not receive complete care from his father as a child need at this stage. After the death of his mother, baba hired a nurse for him. He focuses on his business and politics and fails to give time to Amir which results in suspiciousness in him. He wanted to share everything with his father but he had a fear that Baba would take him away. Here, he was confused about his own identity, he always thought Baba gave more love to Hassan and he would play with him. All this shows that he wanted attention from his father. Amir’s father (baba) wants him to be a good player in soccer, but he realizes that he cannot fulfill the requirements of his father. So he builds a sense of guilt which leads him to choose harsh behavior toward others. He throws pebbles at the neighbor’s house, climbs on the tree, and puts the blame on his servant Hassan. His psychological thoughts lead him to be jealous of Hassan. When Baba wants to gift a harelip surgery to Hassan, Amir thinks that Hassan as a servant doesn’t worth this gift. Even a little love from Baba towards Hassan is jealous of him. He always slandered Hassan and claimed that Hassan stole his watch and money, which led to Hassan’s departure. After that, he gets the full attention of his father but he always feels guilty when he remembers his days with Hassan. Even when he was about to leave Afghanistan he wanted Hassan with him, but that was impossible he knows that. When he reached America, he realized that he had to build a new life for himself. What he should do for his family in Afghanistan was carefree. When he faced this situation he was totally confused about what he should do to build a new life in a new place. With time Amir becomes mature and aware of his identity, he finds his dream and lives with his father righteously. This behavior leads him to love Soraya, he accepts her past, and he even prays for his father when he gets to know that he has cancer. His devotion to love shows when he gets ready to devote himself to Sohrab (Hassan’s son). At this stage, he shows his loyalty toward Hassan and learns to devote himself. He wants to give a good life to Sohrab and for this, he fights with Assef. All this shows his changes from early stages to adulthood, from jealousy to love and from self-accusation to self-assured.

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Discuss the concepts of friendship, betrayal, redemption, and atonement in Kite Runner. Hesham Khadawardi in his article focuses on friendship and betrayal, redemption, and atonement. Hassan and Amir are breastfed by the same nurse, although they have different mothers. On this Ali remembers that they will never end because they are fed by the same women. They grow up in the same environment. Amir is a Pashtun and the son of a rich man, while Hassan is his servant. They lived together for 12 years, and Hassan loves Amir very much. After winning the kite running tournament he said to Amir “For you a thousand times over (Hosseini, 61)”. Amir used to read stories for Hassan because he could not read. One day when he kissed Hassan he asked “What’s for that”? Amir said “You are a prince, Hassan, you’re a prince and I love you” (Hosseini, 26). While going back home from the tournament, Assef tells him not to hurt if he gives him the kite but Hassan refuses and says “Amir Agha won the tournament and I ran this kite for him. I ran it fairly. This is his kite” (Hosseini, 63). And in return Assef raped him. Amir sees Hassan when he is assaulted, and betrays his friend. He starts to separate him and he wants to get rid of him. He schemes for Hassan and gets rid of him. After Hassan leaves, Amir understands his guilt for not helping him as he was helpless at that time. Atonement is the last price Amir Hassan wants to pay. In the year 2001, he receives a call from Rahim Khan because he knows all the secrets that happened to them. He said, “There is a way to be good again” (Hosseini, 198). He comes back and he has to save Sohrab. Amir goes to the house of Taliban leader Assef. Amir fights for Sohrab even though he is brutally beaten by Assef. But back in childhood, he didn’t fight for Hassan. And he takes Sohrab to America with him. Atonement, redemption, and forgiveness took a long time to be achieved. However, their actions show their relationship which changes Amir’s Guilt into atonement which exonerates him from his past sin

Discuss the role of women in the kite runner. The researchers Narges Mirzapur and Azin Samadian discuss the role of women as third-world women. Khalid Hussein’s novels show how women are dominated by their men and how they remain silent in front of them. Kite Runner is made up of male characters and gives less attention to the role of women. The female plays a secondary or minor role in this novel which shows that women are not powerful in that society. In this story, women are the more who suffer a lot. They carry the burden of childbirth and become the victims of brutality. And after that society deprived their voices although they paid both from body and wealth. Amir (protagonist) whose mother died during his birth and Hassan’s mother leaves him after his birth. Amir reminds me that “It was there in a little shack, that Hassan was born in the winter of 1964, just one year after my mother died giving birth to me”(Hosseini,5). Hassan never talks about his mother. Although Amir’s mother is just an imagination for him, it shows the Afghanistan culture, during the war many women while child birth. Amir’s mother Sophia also becomes a victim of colonized society. Baba (Amir’s father) doesn’t marry her for love but for her education and class. It can be seen that Hassan’s mother was also sexually harassed by Baba. Even in the Western culture afghan women cannot get freedom compared to Western culture. The same is the case with Soraya, which signifies that she is living in a patriarchal society where colonized men rule over her, like her father dominating her and he goes mad when he finds out that she is living with her boyfriend. Hassan’s wife Farzana was expecting when she was killed by the Taliban. They shot her when she tried to escape. At one moment Soraya talks about the inequality of genders. She says “Their sons go out to nightclubs looking for meat and get their girlfriends pregnant, they have kids out of wedlock and no one says a goddamn thing. Oh, they’re just men having fun! I make one mistake and suddenly everyone is talking nang and names, and I have to have my face rubbed in it for the rest of my life (Hosseini, 156).” She tries to indicate that men can go to clubs and they can sleep with any woman but women cannot sleep with their boyfriends and used to be called whores by them. This highlights that women are not important in their society.

Analyze the tragedy of Hassan in Kite Runner. The researcher Peng Yuan Yuan in his article elaborates on the tragedy of Hassan. Hassan is loyal, caring, and kind but has a miserable end. His tragedy can be explained religiously, nationally, and also when he is defamed by the family. He always helps Amir, who is the servant of his father and also he is Hassan’s half-brother. He had a cleft lip and was abandoned by his family. His mother leaves him after his birth and his father also rejects him for his reputation in the society. Amir’s father was his father and he slept with one of her servants which is a major sin. So he was rejected by his biological parents. It also represents the Afghan society which shows that Hazaras are sexually harassed by Pashtun. He never gets his mother’s love and he thinks about his mother. His real father was Baba who rejected him for his owner. He was always bullied by the upper class because he was raised by Ali who was a Hazara. Hassan’s tragedy was avoidable. If Baba accepts him as his son, he never suffers. He never be left in the war alone and not killed by the Taliban. And most important he is never betrayed by Hassan who feels jealous of Baba’s love for Hassan. Hassan is always treated like a Hazara. In this novel, Assef considers that only Pashtun belongs to Afghanistan. Though Hassan is a Hazara he always stays loyal to Amir. He sacrifices himself for Amir and is sexually assaulted by Assef who calls him a Hazara boy. Also, he was killed by the Pashtun brutally because they thought he should not live in a house like Amir’s being belongs to Hazara. This tragedy should be the tragedy of all Hazara who live in Afghan society. Thus racial discrimination become the reason for his death. In Afghanistan, Hazara are Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims are Pashtuns. Amir’s teacher gives him a reference to Shia when he asks about confusion. Hassam accepts himself as inferior but he does everything for Amir, but when Hassan needs his help. He could not escape himself from religious ethics. Thus afghan society and religious ethics become his tragedy.

How element of reminiscence has been explained in Kite Runner? Pintoo Dillon’s article points out the reminiscence. Khalid Hosseini in his novel wrote about his memories of his return to Afghanistan and become regret. So reminiscence is the flashback for an individual that makes him emotional. Childhood is the most important part of life which is connected to the future. In this novel, Amir the protagonist is a weak character, he cannot take any stand for his friend Hassan but Hassan is depicted as a strong character who just dedicated his whole life to Amir. The sexual harassment of Hassan becomes nostalgic for him. And after leaving Afghanistan these memories makes it difficult for him to do anything. He always regrets his cowardness. While leaving Afghanistan he still wants Hassan to be there for him. Also when he comes back from Afghanistan he goes to all those places where he and Hassan spend a good time with each other. Baba also reminds the past that he slept with Hassan’s mother. Although he loves Hassan and Amir equally during the war it gets disturbed. During the war, he just took Amir with him to America. Rahim Khan tells Amir, “Your father like you, was a tortured soul, Rahim Khan Shad wrote. Maybe so. We had both sinned and betrayed. But Baba had found a way to create a goof of his remorse. What I had done, others can take my guilt out on the very people I had betrayed, then try to forget it all” (Hosseini, 264). Rahim’s remembrance of his childhood memories also shows the element of reminiscence. Amir also remembers that Hassan ran a kite for him while looking for kites in San Francisco. “Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills, floating side by side like a pair of eyes looking down on San Francisco, the city I now call home. And suddenly Hassan’s voice whispered in my head: For you, a thousand times over. Hassan the hare-lipped kite runner” (Hosseini, 1). When Amir reminds Hassan that he maintains discipline all the time. He says” During the school year, we had a daily routine. By the time I dragged myself out of bed and lumbered to the bathroom, Hassan had already washed up, prayed the morning names with Ali, and prepared my breakfast: hot black tea with three sugar cubes and a slice of toasted nana topped with my favorite sour cherry marmalade, all neatly placed on the dining table. While I ate and complained about homework, Hassan made my bed, polished my shoes, ironed my outfit for the day, and packed my books” (Hosseini, 23). This novel has strong elements of flashbacks of childhood, incapable regrets, and war.

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